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tv   Witness  BBC News  September 4, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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the headlines: the us defence secretary, james mattis, says any threat to the united states or its allies will be met with a massive military response. he was speaking after briefing president trump following north korea's latest nuclear test. south korea has responded by carrying out its own military exercise. a bbc investigation has found that so—called islamic state was secretly directing would—be extremists to murder people at both london bridge and westminster nearly a year before each attack. the government says it is trying to suffocate is‘s ability to recruit and radicalise people in the uk. the most devastating floods to hit south asia in a decade have killed more than 1,400 people and focused attention on lack of preparedness for annual monsoon rains. in many areas, the authorities are struggling to get aid to millions of destitute people. here, the brexit secretary david davis has said
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that the european commission is making itself look "silly" by saying that talks with britain aren't making progress. the eu's chief negotiator, michel barnier, says british people need to understand the "extremely serious consequences" of leaving. this week, theresa may faces a parliamentary battle with the first commons debate on brexit legislation, as chris mason reports. still some way apart, the uk and the eu — david davis and michel barnier at last week's talks. a huge sticking point is money, the divorce bill. today, mr davis insisted the uk would not be pressured into paying more than its fair share. we are basically going through this very systematically, a very british way, a very pragmatic way of doing it. and, of course, he's finding it difficult, and he wants to put pressure on us, which is why the stances this week in the press conference.
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bluntly, i think it looked a bit silly, because there plainly were things that we've achieved. and yes, there were spiky exchanges between the two men at thursday's news conference. mr barnier has since spent the weekend on the banks of lake como, in italy. he told a conference here he does not want to blackmail the uk, but added... meanwhile, the rows about leaving the eu return here this week. the planned new law that is needed to make it happen will be discussed in the commons, and remember, the prime minister's parliamentary predicament is precarious. she nurses a tiny majority. and that is why the debate on repealing this, the act that took
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us into the eu, matters so much. labour says it will vote against the law as planned, which will eventually be stored here, unless it is changed, including the option of staying in the single market during a transitional period after brexit. i've been very, very clear. whilst we accept the result of the referendum, we are not giving a blank cheque the government to do it in whichever way it wants, because it's not in the public interest. this means any rebellion from just a handful of conservative mps would leave the prime minister in real trouble. discussions on delivering brexit are getting rather blustery. chris mason, bbc news, at westminster. now on bbc news, witness. hello, i am lucy hockings.
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welcome to witness, here at the british library in london. this month we have another five people who have witnessed extraordinary moments in history first—hand. we will be remembering a royal wedding injapan, a remarkable feat of engineering under the alps, and a new way of giving birth. but first, we are going back to august 1947, when india gained independence from britain and was split into two countries, mainly—hindu india and mainly—muslim pakistan. partition affected the lives of millions of families. mohammad amir mohammad khan's was one of them. i am mohammad amir mohammad khan, known as sulaiman to family and friends, the raja of mahmudabad. i am from a muslim family which once ruled a very large feudal estate, including the beautiful a palace in mahmudabad
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in which we still live. but the indian government is laying claim to my property, saying that it is enemy property. no—one is paying for it, so these days, everything is crumbling. this dispute goes back to 1947. the partition of india into two states, a muslim—majority state called pakistan, and a hindu—majority state of india. it was estimated that a million people died,
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ten million people were displaced. some muslims went to the state of pakistan. many hindus came to india. it was not just the country that was divided. families were divided, too. in the late ‘50s, my father took pakistani nationality, and that is when my family's problems began, because when india and pakistan went to war in 1965, the government laid claim to our properties. there was an act of parliament called the enemy property act, which empowered the government to take over, temporarily, the properties of pakistanis. it was notjust our family which was affected.
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thousands of families were affected. the properties are worth billions of dollars. but our issue is that only my father took pakistani nationality. i have always been an indian. my mother was always an indian. we had to fight our case from the lowest to the highest court, and in every court, we won. and the supreme courtjudge said that by no stretch of imagination could i be considered an enemy, and considered me the heir to my father's properties. but then, the government went and changed the laws, and the battle has begun again. i suppose, like so many people
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in india and pakistan, we are still caught up in the repercussions of partition, and the acrimonious relations between india and pakistan. in a way, i've been forced to live in the past. and, with apologies to yeats, ifeel as if i'm drowning in a beauty that has long since faded from this earth. mohammad amir mohammad khan there, speaking to us from his beautiful family palace in uttar pradesh. next, to the summer of 1965, when a remarkable feat
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of engineering opened to the public. the mont blanc tunnel runs for 11 kilometres under the alps. franco cuaz worked on the project. a road tunnel under mont blanc. the dream of decades has come true, and the paris—rome motorjourney is cut by 300 miles. to both france and italy this was an historic occasion. the joint opening ceremony was performed by general degaulle and president saragat. from here, this looks a pretty big hole, but when you think of the size of the mountain through which it's being driven, it's rather like trying to drive a needle through the granite foundations of edinburgh castle. franco cuaz is 91 now, and long retired, but he still lives near the mont blanc tunnel. now, in 1977, a state hospital near paris began quietly changing the way that women gave birth. 0bstetrician dr michel 0dent believed that childbirth had become too medicalised. he wanted a more natural approach, so he introduced a pool to ease the pain of labour.
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franco cuaz is 91 now, and long retired, but he still lives near the mont blanc tunnel. now, in 1977, a state hospital near paris began quietly changing the way that women gave birth. 0bstetrician dr michel 0dent believed that childbirth had become too medicalised. he wanted a more natural approach, so he introduced a pool to ease the pain of labour. there is something special about the relationship between human beings and water.
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as soon as it's lifted into the air, its lungs start to work normally. dr michel 0dent, obstetrician. this is his maternity unit, run according to his deeply felt beliefs about women and natural childbirth. the right place to give birth would be the right place to make love. when i arrived in 1962, the way women were giving birth was the same as in any hospital, on a table, with legs in stirrups. it was... but gradually, gradually, we reconsidered everything. we have introduced the concept of home—like birthing rooms, a small room, with no visible medical equipment, to help women to feel more at home in the hospital. at a time when they still have the vision of hospital as a place where you come when you are sick, or to die. 1:00am, and a young couple have
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driven 150 miles to have their first baby here, in an ordinary state hospital in northern france. by changing the environment, we have attracted more women to our maternity unit, women coming from far away. and that's why i became an obstetrician. from 200 births a year, to 1,000 births a year. a pool to help mothers ease the pain of labour.
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babies are occasionally born underwater. we have painted the walls of the aquatic birthing room in blue, dolphins on the walls. many women in labour could not wait. they wanted to enter the birthing pool before it's full. they could not wait. the main objective was to break the vicious circle by replacing drugs. all medication, all drugs have side—effects. after being in the womb, in warm fluid for nine months, the baby emerges happily into the warm water, with its life—support system from the mother still intact. i remember the visit we had with this british obstetrician. what do you think of the pool? well, i don't think we'd have room for it in our hospital. and i find dr 0dent's views about it a wonderful mixture
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of mysticism and scince. i don't think the word "mysticism" is appropriate. it's true that i tried to consider, in a scientific language, some emotional states. translation: it felt like a family atmosphere, very reassuring. it gave you confidence in yourself, and that's what i needed. i was pleased when i heard women talking in a positive way about the birth of their babies. we have to learn from positive experiences. that's the way forward. michel 0dent now lives in london and birthing pools are widely available in hospitals. remember, you can watch witness every month on the bbc news channel, or you can catch up on over a thousand radio programmes in our online archive.
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just go to bbc.co.uk/witness. next, we're going back to august 1972 when the dictator idi amin ordered uganda's asian minority to leave the country, accusing them of sabotaging the economy. 80,000 people were forced to leave uganda, including gita watts. we had 90 days to sort everything out, to get out of the country and he sort of made the impression that if we didn't get out on time, we'd be sitting on fire. more than 12,000 towns and villages like this in uganda. in every one of them, the government
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is pressing its campaign against the asian traders. the asian community was close—knit, all the asian shops inrolled together and we all knew each other. each family and all the kids knew each other. we weren't well off but we were comfortable. people started rushing to the embassies and my dad had to sign everything over. that means his assets and his business, over to the ugandan bank. we were given £55, that's all he was allowed to take with him. it was just unbelievable, you know, after everything that he earned, he was just left with £55. when we first got to the airport, people's luggage was opened and people were checking for gold and money and, for some reason, my parents put a ring on my finger.
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we were told to get that ring off me because the ring was so tight we struggled to take it off. my parents tried everything to take this ring off. in the end, it was cut off. the scariest bit was that we had soldiers with guns and knives surrounding us. i was panicking trying to get this ring off. it was a relief that we had to go on the plane when the plane was taking off. my dad was probably thinking, you know, he got his family out of the country at last. but he was leaving back something that he really loved, the country that he loved. the asians arrived in cold wet weather at stansted, whole families arriving with little cash. the few belongings they brought often seemed of nothing more than sentimental. the time of the year we arrived it was wintertime. that made it worse as well with the rain.
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i had not seen the snow before. we were scared because we didn't know where would we go. i mean, my mum was told to take us to leicester, a town called leicester, we didn't know what it was like, we didn't know any english when i grew up and went to secondary school i came through a lot of racial abuse from kids, you know, calling names and waiting for me outside school and wanting to like beat me up and not liking my colour. recently, we just went back to uganda. i just wanted to see the country that i was born in and why my parents loved that country so much. it was nice to go back to the hospital where i was born. it really was an amazing experience. in all, 60,000 asians
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were expelled from uganda, nearly half settled in britain, including gita watts. finally back to 1959 and a ground—breaking royal wedding in japan. witness has been to tokyo to meet a tv director whose coverage of the tv event entranced the nation. so he marries a commoner, breaking tradition of over 200 years. the ceremony lasting 15 minutes took place in a wooden shrine within the walls of the imperial palace. there was no hint of any western influence in the wedding ritual. in sumptuous robes such as the members of the imperial family have worn for centuries, the crown prince and his bride were made man and wife. burdened by no fewer than 12 kimonos, it took the princess three hours to dress.
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the total weight was 33 pounds. cheers accompanied them all the way as they proceeded on their drive through tokyo. that is all from us this month. i hope you willjoin us next month back here at the british library. we'll have five extraordinary accounts of history through the eyes of people who were there. for now, from me and the rest of the team at witness, goodbye. hello.
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after a weekend of two halves, this week's weather takes us on a bit of a journey but things are a bit quieter for a time mid—week, as i'll show you in a moment. i will start with a couple of images from sunday's weather. after all that saturday sunshine, grey skies, some rain around. the further east you are, you did not get that rain until quite late on and the weather system that brought it is starting to fizzle out but we are left, as monday begins, with plenty of cloud. it's low cloud, it's misty, murky, some coast and hill fog around. still damp and drizzly in places as well. and it is quite warm, quite humid air that's across us. look these temperatures for 8 o'clock in the morning. some around 16—17 celsius. not as breezy as it has been into england and wales. again the chance of seeing a bit light rain, more especially in parts of northern england and scotland. mainly dry start in northern ireland but this band of wet weather is going to move in and will also push across scotland during the day. still quite windy for some of us here,
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especially the further north you are. northern isles with a risk of gales, into shetland. 0n through the day. after all that cloud to begin with, we start to brighten things up a little bit in england and wales, especially east wales and through northern, central, southern and eastern england. if you get some sunny spells for any period of time, it could be quite warm. 23—24 celsius, could well be yours, maybe the chance a shower. we'll move a band of rain through northern ireland. outbreaks of rain through scotland but the further west you are, especially late afternoon gonig into the evening, it could well be brightening up once again. the rain is not done with us though. on monday night it looks like it will pep up again through this zone here, back into parts of northern ireland, maybe scotland, northern england and wales before going into tuesday this energy will run out eastwards into the north sea. we are left on tuesday with this weatherfront still heading south—east, just not as much rain associated with it. a cold front, the leading edge of cooler, fresher air so there is a change to the feel of the weather coming our way by the end of tuesday from the north—west. so a band of rain pushing south eastwards across england on tuesday,
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behind that one or two showers following, but actually, as you can see, sunnier weather, cooler, fresher feeling weather but at least we have the sunshine as temperatures come down a few degrees. and then we embark on that somewhat quieter spell of weather for a couple of days. wednesday just a few showers in the west, variable cloud and sunshine. many of us dry on thursday but it looks we will see another weather system bearing down on parts of scotland and northern ireland as we go on through thursday. so this week's weather then, a humid, quite warm start for some of us, if you see some sunshine, but then turning cooler and fresher, with sunny spells and showers for a few days. but by the end of the week, thursday night into friday, it looks like it will be turning wet and windy for a time. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: international condemnation of north korea's latest and most powerful nuclear test, as the us issues a blunt warning. any threat to the united states
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or its territories, including guam, or allies, will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. kim jong—un‘s regime hails the test a perfect success, as south korea carries out its own military exercise. a bbc investigation finds recruiters from so—called islamic state were trying to direct would—be attackers a year before westminster and london bridge.
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